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What To Expect: Diamondbacks LHP Anthony Banda



The Diamondbacks, in the midst of a stunningly successful season amid low expectations, have promoted top prospect Anthony Banda to make his big league debut Saturday against the Nationals at home.

Banda is fresh off being named the No. 68 prospect in the game, but this likely will be a cameo appearance in the bigs as he is replacing Taijuan Walker, who is on paternity leave.

The 23-year-old lefthander is just 7-5, 5.08 this season and is coming off a terrible start on Monday in which he gave up a career-worst 15 hits in a 7-1 loss to Triple-A Salt Lake (Angels).

SCOUTING REPORT

The Diamondbacks had long been fans of Banda, drafting him in the 33rd round out of high school in 2011, and after failing to sign him, trading for him—and Mitch Haniger—in a deal that sent Gerardo Parra to Milwaukee in 2014.

Banda has come a long way since being drafted by the Brewers out of San Jacinto (Texas) JC in the 10th round in 2012. He had command issues in his first two pro seasons and was throwing in the high 80s, but has cut back on walks and now sits 92-95 mph with his fastball, touching 98. His curveball is his best pitch, flashing plus, and his changeup projects at least average. Banda is athletic with an easy, repeatable delivery and generates a majority of ground balls with his downer change and curveball. His competitiveness is considered a great asset.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Anthony Banda Tomdipace

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The phrase “churn and burn” takes on new meaning in a season as short—and strange—as 2020.

Probably not much, at least immediately. Banda faces a tough lineup in the Nationals and figures to return to Triple-A. But the Diamondbacks feel Banda's tools and talent are coming together with his improved command and work ethic. He projects to be a mid-rotation starter and could help Arizona down the stretch.

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